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November 6, 2013

GOP keeps control of Otsego board


Another race, in District 12, will apparently be decided by paper ballots. It pitted Oneonta Democrat Amy Homburg-Heilveil, a restaurant waitress, against concert promoter Craig Gelbsman, a Republican. With all machine ballots counted, Gelbsman was ahead, 137 to 132.

The District 12 seat holds a total of 335 weighted votes. It has been held for the last two decades by Rep. Catherine Rothenberger, D-city of Oneonta. If Gelbsman prevails in the heavily Democratic district, it would be a feather in the cap of the local GOP organization,

In District 7, freshman Rep. Beth Rosenthal, D-Roseboom, defeated Republican William Glockler, 525 to 482.

The votes were tallied following a day of what local election experts called unusually heavy turnout, particularly for an off-year, with no national or statewide contests beckoning voters to polling places.

“It’s been very strong every place here,” said Sheila Ross, the Otsego County GOP elections commissioner. She said she had to deliver a stack of 50 additional blank ballots to the town of Plainfield when it nearly ran out of ballots with an unanticipated surge of voters.

“I’d say the turnout is at 50 percent in most places,” Ross added. She said there was also an unusually heavy turnout in Milford, apparently triggered by the Lentz-Waters race.

Hank Nicols, the Democratic county elections commissioner, also remarked that people were eager to line up at the polls Tuesday.

“Judging by the turnout, this was a hotly contested election,” said Nicols. “This is a little bit of a pleasant surprise.”

The second highest number of weighted votes (554) are held by the District 3 seat, occupied by the board’s chairwoman, Rep. Kathy Clark, R-Otego. She handily defeated Democratic backed Stuart Anderson, 771 to 425. Anderson was making his maiden run for public office.

Reacting to the outcome, the county’s GOP chairman, Vince Casale, said: “We are pleased with the overall outcome of tonight’s election. As we have said all along, we presented a slate of candidates who bring a diverse set of skills and experience to help our county tackle the issues before us. Tonight, the voters agreed”

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